Attractions of Plyos
Plyos is an exclusive tourist town known for its old churches, unique museums and simple but charming attractions that provide the perfect backdrop for scenic photos. To see all the attractions of Plyos of Russia’s Golden Ring at a relaxed pace and to soak in the town’s soothing ambiance, you’ll want to plan a multi-day trip.Some of Plyos’ top attractions include:
Church of the Resurrection
Near the promenade of Plyos is Church of the Resurrection, one of the town’s most celebrated sights. The building is visible from both ends of the pier and from cruise ships sailing along the Volga. Not surprisingly, its image is plastered on many a postcard of this idyllic town.
Construction of Resurrection Church was completed in 1817 and dedicated to the Russian victory over Napoleon Bonaparte. It served as the main church in Plyos for many years, but with the advent of Soviet rule in the early 20th century, the church was shuttered. In 1962 the building was partially rebuilt as an art gallery, yet after the gallery closed, the walls and domes of the cathedral began to decay. At the end of the 20th century it was returned to the Russian Orthodox Church and reconstruction of the building commenced. Today its white walls and golden domes are a testament to the town’s enduring strength.
Church of the Resurrection, while an example of classic architecture, also has distinct features of Yaroslavl architecture of the 17th century. The main building consists of two tiers crowned with five domes. There is a three-tiered bell tower adjacent to the temple that’s decorated with columns and ornamentation. This beautiful building is loved by artists and directors alike, and The Church of the Resurrection can be seen in many Russian films.
Trinity Church of Plyos is very similar structurally to the Resurrection Church, and the two are easily confused by newcomers. While Trinity Church also has five domes and a nearly identical bell tower, it’s located on the opposite side of town. Plyos is also home to a wooden Church of the Resurrection of Christ, which was transferred here in 1982 from the village of Bilyukovo.
Trinity and Vvedenskaya Churches
On a hill behind Sobornaya Mountain is a complex of two churches that have stood the test of time for more than two centuries – Trinity Church and Vvedenskaya (Vvedensky) Church. These churches add to the quiet grandeur of Plyos and help to mark it as an important town on the Golden Ring of Russia map.
The first Trinity Church was built of wood in 1628 and replaced with a new wooden structure in 1712. In 1778 Vvedenskaya Church, also built of wood, appeared next to it. Trinity Church was used in summer, and Vvedensky Church in winter. In 1808, the wooden Trinity Church was again demolished and the first stone church in Plyos was erected in its place, followed by a new Vvedensky Church 20 years later.
Trinity Church was built in the Baroque style, with five domes and a tall bell tower that strongly resemble those of Church of the Resurrection. The murals that adorn the cathedral’s interior were gradually added in the 19th century.
Vvedenskaya Church reflects the architectural style of the Russian provincial empire, with a massive bell-shaped dome rising above a cross and an entrance flanked by columns. This cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of late classicism.
On Sobornaya Mountain, amid the town’s most scenic view of Plyos and the Volga River, stands Assumption Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in the city. Pleskaya Fortress once stood here but was destroyed in 1609, and today only its earthen rampart has been preserved. After the fortress’ destruction a small wooden temple was built here, which burned down in 1695. Four years later, in 1699, residents erected a large brick church in its place, and Assumption Cathedral has been standing here for more than 300 years.
The architectural style of Assumption Cathedral is defined as Moscow Baroque. The church was remodeled gradually, including the addition of a new altar and a tent-shaped bell tower at the turn of the 19th century, features which lent the church a unique look. In 1824, a chapel was built at Assumption Cathedral, and in 1828 the nearby Kazan Cathedral was erected. With this addition, a church complex was formed on Sobornaya Mountain, which was later surrounded by a gated brick wall.
In Soviet times the churches in Plyos, as in much of Russia, were closed, looted and even destroyed. The Kazan Cathedral was sadly demolished, and today only the Assumption Cathedral and an old gate remain from the entire complex. Yet the memory of the complex lives on in artist Isaac Levitan’s painting "Silent Abode”, captured during his visits in 1888-1890.
Museums and Exhibition Halls
Plyos is home to many museums for a town so small in size and population, thanks to its rich history and regular stream of Golden Ring Russia tours.
Of particular note is the Landscape Museum, the only one of its kind in Russia. It opened on November 14, 1997, in a former mansion and one of the oldest buildings in the city. Plyos, rich in picturesque landscapes, once attracted the attention of Russian artist Isaac Levitan, whose work aroused interest in the town among his fellow artists. The museum displays the works of many Russian landscape painters: Levitan, Shishkin, Vereshchagin, Zhukovsky, Trubnikov and others. The Artistic Crafts of the Ivanovo Region Museum and the Isaac Levitan House Museum, in which the artist lived from 1888-1890, are subsequent additions to the Landscape Museum.
Several private museums can also be found in Plyos, including the Museum of Fisheries and Museum of the Ancient Russian Family. The Communities of Plyosian Artists Exhibition Hall frequently features the works of contemporary painters, while smaller galleries and art studios also grace the streets of tiny Plyos.
Monuments and Landscape of Plyos
Tourist attractions of Plyos of Russia’s Golden Ring are not just limited to churches and museums, for Plyos is home to several monuments of people closely connected with the city. A tribute to Isaac Levitan depicts him at work on the painting “Over Eternal Peace”. A monument to Prince Vladimir (founder of the second Plyos Fortress), a sculpture known as Dachnitsa (a woman on vacation at a summer cottage) and a statue on the promenade of a cat named Fly can also be found.
One unusual attraction of Plyos is the Tree of Love, two pine trees hung with numerous ribbons and connected by one fused branch. The Arboretum and Birch Grove are two of Plyos’ most popular natural attractions. Nearly every home in Plyos adds to the ambience of the town with quaint and unique portrayals of traditional turn-of-the-century architecture.
While each of the manmade sites of Plyos – churches, museums, monuments and historical homes – are noteworthy, it’s the peaceful, exquisite landscape that dwarfs all other attractions and beckons visitors back time and time again. Enveloped in rolling hills, life-giving forests and the ceaseless lapping of the Volga’s waters, Plyos stands as a timeless treasure of Russian culture, antiquity and charm.